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Staples The Office Superstore Announces Plans For Major Expansion into the Greater Atlanta Area
Staples Inc., operator of nearly 850 office superstores throughout North America, today announced a major expansion effort in greater Atlanta, with aggressive plans to meet the needs of thousands of growing small businesses in the area.

Six leases have been signed for sites throughout the region, with more scheduled to be announced in the next several months. Construction is underway on two of those stores, and will begin soon on four others.

The six stores, each averaging 24,000 square feet, will be located in Stone Mountain, Duluth, Midtown Crossing on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, Carrollton, Cartersville and Alpharetta. Cartersville and Carrollton are slated to open in the Spring, with the remainder of the stores open by Fall.

Joseph Vassalluzzo, president of Staples realty and development, said, "Staples is delighted with the six lease contracts negotiated throughout the greater Atlanta area, and is looking forward to serving this market. Atlanta offers opportunity unequaled by many other regions, including a diverse economic and cultural base, explosive growth, a strong academic tradition, and a large population of small businesses, small offices and home office workers."

He added, "Staples continues to assess additional sites throughout the region, with the intent to double its number of stores in the area over the next two years."

Staples in Atlanta will continue the company's longtime strategy of catering to the small business customer, providing the latest technology, expert in-store assistance on products and services, and frequent educational opportunities, such as guest speakers on a variety of topics important to the small business professional.

"No other office supply store offers the breadth of products and services available at Staples," Vassalluzzo said. "Staples takes seriously its goal of slashing the cost and hassle of running an office for small business owners. We believe Atlanta small businesses will benefit from a partnership with Staples."

The new office superstores, each expected to employ up to 40 area residents, will stock more than 7,600 brand name office products at everyday low prices. Staples will provide general office supplies, office furniture, computers, software, and business machines, and a wide selection of teaching supplies. Additionally, the stores will feature technology centers with expanded computer services, including in-house tech support for computer upgrades and enhancements. Staples also will offer high speed and color copying, self-service copiers, faxing and binding services, and FedEx services to complete all one-stop shopping needs.

Staples currently operates one store in Georgia, located in Brunswick, and has announced plans to open others in Augusta and Tifton late in 1999.

To complement Staples' aggressive store launch into Georgia and the Southeast region of the US, Staples in November of 1998 purchased the office and manufactured products business of Atlanta-based Ivan Allen Company, a longstanding and prominent regional contract stationer.

Staples, Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Staples, headquartered outside Boston, invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The Company has more than 37,000 associates serving the business customer through 915 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information is available on the company at http://www.staples.com.


     CONTACT:  Staples, Inc.
               Christina Erridge
               508-424-7375
               christina.erridge@staples.com